Spring Valley development stalls | AspenTimes.com

Spring Valley development stalls

Phillip Yates
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE ” Collapsing housing prices and mortgage lending problems across the United States have temporarily stalled the development of a planned 6,000-acre, 577-housing-unit development in Spring Valley.

James Lochhead, an attorney representing the company behind Spring Valley Ranch, wrote to Garfield County commissioners earlier this month requesting a one-year extension of county approval of its planned unit development and preliminary application for the housing development, which were approved in December.

Lochhead attributed the delay for Spring Valley Ranch to the current problems facing the American housing and lending market.

“The marketability of the project is dependent upon and affected by national market and financial conditions,” he wrote. “The housing market at Spring Valley Ranch will be marketed nationally. As you are all aware, within the last year, the national housing and lending market has experienced extreme volatility, affecting the national economy.”

As a result, Spring Valley Holdings – the company behind Spring Valley Ranch – determined that it “would not be prudent to undertake the large expenditures of funds necessary to commence development until the national economy has stabilized.”

Because of the volatility, it will not be possible for Spring Valley Holdings to commence development of the project within one year of its PUD zoning approval or to submit application for final plat approval, Lochhead wrote.

Although the company does not plan to commence development this year, it does plan on doing “pre-development activity on the property.” That activity includes working to stabilize and protect the original Hopkins Homestead in the planned development.

Besides the 577 housing units, the plan for Spring Valley Ranch also includes 18- and 9-hole golf courses, an equestrian center, tennis courts and open space and trails. The development will also have 75 affordable housing units.

After the commissioners’ vote in December, management staff for Spring Valley Holdings declined to cite an exact date for the beginning of construction of the development, citing the “currently troubled housing market.”

The development, one of the largest in Garfield County, had been before the county since the mid-1980s, when 2,700 units were originally proposed.